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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Enough Implausible Virgins Already!

Unwrapped - Cari Quinn

This is another one that Tackling Mt. TBR recommended might help me get out of my smut slump. She said it was one of the best menage books she'd read, and that she liked "that it deals with a lot of the issues that get glossed over normally." I can see what she meant: a lot of the conflict in this vaguely holiday-themed story stems from the three lovers working through the sticky but basic issues that any polyamorous relationship involving real people would have to address -- i.e., how to tell the 'rents, what about public displays of affection, what are the rules when one of the threesome is away, what will happen if/when someone wants to have a baby, etc. In that way, it was definitely the most realistic menage book I've read. I also appreciated that the two male participants were lovers before the woman came on board, and thus they had their own attraction and emotional connection to each other. (As I've noted before, I don't find menage stories where the men pay no attention to each other and focus entirely on the lady believable at all.) 

 

My main problem with this story was that the female protagonist was a dewy-eyed 25-year-old virgin ... because reasons. She'd been crushing on both the male protagonists for ages, but unable to choose between them, so she just dated other people who couldn't live up to the heroes and kept her pants zipped. Uh huh. Also, she thinks her mom and sisters are slutty low class tramps, and she didn't want to be like them, so she kept her pants zipped. (Yeah, I could have done without the classist slut-shaming, thanks... though she does kind of see the error of her ways before the book is out.) 

 

I don't see how her being a virgin was necessary to the plot, and I find 25-year-old virgins in contemporary settings pretty inplausible unless they've been brought up in a religious commune in East Bumbleshoot, but even accepting Cait's virginity for argument's sake... when she turns out to be a sexual Mary Sue on her maiden voyage, deep throating one of the men without a qualm, even shooting a freaking porno during their very first night together, it just surpassed my ability to willingly suspend disbelief. 

 

Also, one of the men is a little too alpha for my tastes in the early encounters, skirting the edge of consent/coercion, though he comes down on the right side of the line and mellows into a pretty decent guy by the end.